Graduates of the Solnit Integrated Adult/Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Research Program
Class of 2015:
Christopher J. Hammond, MD, PhD (entered 2009): graduated with honors from Washington University in 2002 with degrees in Psychology and Marketing. From 2002-2005, he participated in two Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award fellowships at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one with the Geriatric Psychiatry Branch (GPB) doing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related research, and another with the Pediatric Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch (PDN) doing research on PANDAS, obsessive compulsive disorder, and autistic spectrum disorders. This intensive exposure to research made Chris acutely aware of the neurobiological underpinnings of mental illness and awoke in him a passion for the hypothesis testing, theoretical exercises, and scientific methodology that a career in clinical research offers. From the NIMH, Chris transitioned to University of Florida College of Medicine as a member of the Class of 2009, where he continued his research pursuits publishing articles, letters, and reviews in the fields of addiction, psychiatry, autoimmune disorders, and neurology. He also gained exposure to international medicine participating in medical outreach trips to Ecuador and Thailand before graduating. Having developed significant interests in child neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction medicine, and with an interest in furthering his research and clinical training, Chris found the Albert J. Solnit Child & Adult Psychiatry Integrated Training Program at Yale Child Study Center (CSC) a natural next step in his career development. In his third year, Chris began graduate work towards a PhD in Investigative Medicine and completed his thesis project examining the neural response to reward and anti-rewards in adolescent cannabis and tobacco users using quantitative EEG, laboratory-based stress paradigms, and cognitive neuroscience methods. In his final year in the Solnit program, he worked on several research projects related to adolescent substance use and addictive disorders, reward feedback processing, risk-taking behaviors, chronic stress, developmental trauma, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis reactivity under the collaborative mentorship of Dr. Linda Mayes, Dr. Marc Potenza, and Dr. Mike Crowley, through both the Yale CSC and the Department of Psychiatry’s Division of Addictions. Chris received the NIMH Outstanding Resident in 2011. His primary research interest is in further elucidating the roles that stress, gender, environment, and genetics play in brain development of reward and stress-related neurocircuitry, and how these factors contribute to the development of adolescent risk-taking behaviors and substance abuse. Upon graduating in 2015, Chris took a position at Johns Hopkins University to continue his work in addictions research.
Class of 2013:
Jon Carlson, MD’s research focused on the nicotinic cholinergic system in psychosis. He received funding from APIRE and AACAP in support his work. During the Solnit program, he completed graduate coursework and earned an NIH Loan Repayment award. Following the Solnit program he completed a yearlong schizophrenia research fellowship and contributed to a number of pharmacologic challenge studies as well clinical trials in schizophrenia. He is joining the psychiatry department of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group.
Kyle Williams, MD will continue his work in research related to Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS) on faculty at Harvard School of Medicine and MGH where he is starting a research clinic for children affected by these symptoms. He is also completing his Ph.D. in the Yale IMP program using animal models to understand the immune-neural interaction in PANDAs.
Class of 2012:
Tamara Vanderwal, MD, MAR is currently a Psychiatry Research Scholar at the Child Study Center, and is continuing her work on brain development using dense-array EEG and fMRI. She is interested in understanding the developmental trajectories of how the brain organizes itself during rest and is developing a new approach to study these intrinsic connectivity networks in young children that will use both EEG and fMRI. She works in close collaboration on this project with both the Mayes' Developmental Electrophysiology Lab, and Xavier Castellanos' group at NYU. Her current work is funded in part by the American Psychiatric Association/Lilly Psychiatric Research Fellowship and the Fund for Psychoanalytic Research.
Rebecca Hommer, MD, is a postdoctoral fellow with the Yale T32 program for Childhood-Onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders, conducting her research with Ellen Leibenluft in the NIMH intramural program. She has multiple projects looking at stress responses in adolescents and long-term outcomes of children with severe mood-dysregulation.
Class of 2011:
Tom Fernandez, MD is currently on faculty at Yale as an Assistant Professor at the Child Study Center and Department of Psychiatry, continuing his research in psychiatric genetics in his own lab and attending on the clinical service of the Tourette Syndrome/OCD clinic. His research program is funded in part by an NIMH K23 Career Development Award.
Alexander “Lexy” Westphal, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Law and Psychiatry with a secondary appointment at the Child Study Center. His current work is a mixture of research, administration, and clinical work with both people with autism and forensic patients. During the Solnit program he worked on a PhD that used neuroimaging and eye tracking studies to determine whether Childhood Disintegrative Disorder represented a distinct pathophysiological process from other forms of autism. He was the recipient of an NIH loan repayment award, and received funding from the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, the Rumsey Cartier Foundation and the Simons Foundation for the CDD project. After the Solnit fellowship, he completed a forensics fellowship, and his current clinical and research work is focused on the population with developmental disabilities and legal issues.
Class of 2010:
Michael Bloch, MD MS is an assistant professor on the faculty at Yale School of Medicine and Associate Training Director of the Solnit Integrated Program. He is also an attending physician on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit and continues his research in obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, and trichotillomania. His research program is funded in part by an NIMH K23 Career Development Award, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, a Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Award, and an AACAP Junior Investigator Award.
Hanna Stevens, MD, PhD took a position as assistant professor on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center and served as Associate Training Director of the Solnit Integrated Program until 2015, when she moved to Iowa to continue her research there. In her lab in the Neurobiological Division of the department, she continues to build her research program on inhibitory neurons in mouse model systems and the effects of stress on brain development. Her research program is funded in part by an NIMH K08 Career Development Award and YCCI Scholar Award, Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Fellowship, and a Patterson Trust Clinical Research Award.